Visa, insurance and health
You must have a visa to tour India. There are two ways in which you can apply for a visa.
- 1. A relatively expensive visa service operated by VFS global – an agency employed by the Indian Commission.
- 2. The new online system
This agency has 16 centres all over the UK and will make a visa application for you. This will cost over £100 plus any fees of around £20/30. Please see: http://www.vfsglobal.co.uk/india You can apply for this at any time. This is useful if you wish to travel to India more than once. It’s not cost effective otherwise.
Visa online system
The Indian government have introduced a new online visa process. The cost of this is around £59 ($72) plus any credit/debit card fees.
Visa online, some detail
For this online service, you’ll need to do a little admin to apply. You will need to scan a copy of your passport for example, as well as create a digital online photograph of yourself for the visa. The visa online service will definitely need your patience.
For example, you may have to compress a digital copy of your passport (the picture page) and submit it in a certain format – such as ‘JPEG.’ So if you are unfamiliar with this, you may want to enlist the help of someone before you start. Some previous passengers have used photographic services like ‘Snappy Snaps’ or photography services in large supermarkets to make digital photographs.
In some large Sainsburys stores for example, they have digital photo services, where they can take a digital visa photo and email it to you, but it can cost around £10. Visa costs are cheaper for those with an Irish passport.
Once the you have completed the above, the visa usually takes around 72 hours to process. An email is sent to you to confirm it is ready. You usually have to revisit the website with your visa and passport number to print the visa.
The ‘e-visa’ itself is one A4 sheet of paper which includes your photograph and a bar code. You need to present it at immigration – but keep it with you throughout the tour. Please see the following for full information.
It is your responsibility to ensure you have adequate insurance to cover all activities on this tour. An increasing number of mainstream insurance companies offer Covid cover (but may stipulate full vaccinations are required at least 14 days before travel).
Health (& Covid)
Please note we cannot advise as to general vaccinations and health precautions for this trip. Please visit your travel nurse well before travel to get proper advice. Please tell them you are visiting the state of Kerala.
For Covid prevention, the Indian government currently requires 2 vaccinations, as well as a Covid test 72 hours before your flight to India. We will be providing a step by step guide on how to prepare for this to our travellers.